Establishing a successful business in today’s competitive market environment is not easy. However, there are certain proven strategies that can help a novice navigate towards success. Sometimes, the best strategy is to emulate what has worked in the past. And one such strategy is networking. This is especially true for young entrepreneurs and startups. And the best part of it is that it is inexpensive but highly effective. It promotes business growth and personal development.
Let us look further into why networking is so crucial for entrepreneurs and startups:
- Community That Supports Each Others
When you are just starting out, the desperation for support from trusted people is real. If you already have a good network of people in the same field with a similar vision, then you have a head start. You may not be able to afford a business coach. However, your network that includes business leaders, friends, and other professionals in the same field may just satisfy the need for a business coach. Besides, interacting with your personal network of friends and other people with similar ambitious is always an encouragement and motivational force when you are just starting.
- Referrals for Business
Startups usually do not have big budget for marketing. They may have great products or solutions, but they are of no value if no one utilizes them. Networking is a great way to promote your business. The advantage to this is that word-of-mouth referral is more reliable for both parties. So a good networking strategy can help business find the right clients on a consistent basis without having to invest financially on marketing. Through networking, many businesses find people who are interested in their products or services. You can turn these referrals into a permanent client by giving them your best. Compared to the leads you get from marketing, you get much higher quality leads with the help of networking.
- Exchange of Knowledge and Ideas
Startups generally do not have a strong system in place, whether it is the branding, marketing, management, or leadership. They evolve quickly especially in the initial month and years. And this phase is crucial as it determines the direction of the company as well as its culture. Knowledge and exposure to great ideas is crucial in this stage. Networking can serve the purpose of gaining knowledge, ideas and advices from more experienced leaders as well as peers. In addition, most of the startup communities are very supportive. This is a great opportunity for other startups to gain as well as exchange knowledge and skill to enhance each other’s business services.
- Build Strong Reputation
I am sure everyone will agree the importance of good client’s testimonial, especially when you are trying to establish yourself in a market. It may be easy to get a few social proofs from few clients, but it takes more than a few clients to build a strong reputation for long term success. This is where the support of good network comes in. The honest feedbacks and suggestions from your close network of people are gold. They don’t intent to harm your business, but they are meant to improve your business. This genuine feedback is crucial for startups. Unfortunately, there are people with bad intention, and without the honest feedback from honest people, the direction of the company can be derailed for the worse.
- Personal Satisfaction
Millennials and the generation that follow strongly associate job with meaning in life. What do Employees Expect from Workspace? They all want to do something that has a positive influence on society. How they influence others is important to them. Engaging with people and encouraging each other gives a sense of satisfaction and meaning to people. If you have a good network of professionals that support each other, then you are more likely to be happy with your job. Surround yourself with those who uplift you and you do the same for them.
Do not underestimate the power of personal friendship that you develop through professional networks. They are a great source of inspiration and encouragement in the ups and down of our life.
Sometimes, the best strategy is to emulate what has worked in the past.
The personal friendship that you develop through professional networks are a great source of inspiration and encouragement in the ups and down of our life.